The Ethical Dilemma of Siamese Twins Essay by Peter Pen

The Ethical Dilemma of Siamese Twins
This paper dismisses social values and concentrates on the scientific facts pertaining to the ethical dilemma of separating Siamese twins in the case of Mary and Jodie vs. the laws of Britain.
# 97811 | 2,185 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2007
Published on Sep 02, 2007 in Medical and Health (Medical Studies) , Law (Historic Trials) , Ethics (General)

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This paper explains that, in the case of Jodie and Mary, because the parents did not feel it was right for them to be God and choose who should live and who should ultimately die from the surgery thereby denying the procedure to separate the twins, it was up to the court to decide whether or not the Siamese twins should be separated to allow one to live and the weaker one to die. The author points out that, under British law, the three judges involved all agreed that the separation should be performed but differed on their reasons why. The paper concludes that, even as parents object for religious and personal grounds, the physician, not the patient or patient's family, should be the final decision-maker because parents are emotional and doctors must be unbiased and professional without emotional interest.

Table of Contents:
What are Siamese Twins?
The Case of Jodie and Mary
Ethical Decisions Regarding Faith Are Inadmissible
One Twin Must Die
Legally Justified
Annas Article
British law
Results of Operation

From the Paper:

"It turns out that after six weeks the twins were separated when the team of physicians was assured they would not be prosecuted for murder when Mary died. She did die, but "Jodie is doing well and may soon go home [...]. She will undergo more surgery over the next five years and most of it will be performed in Britain." Among outside opinions, a strong one in favor of the surgery said that "Jodie had more to lose in terms of the net gain of life." She is now alive, despite the loss of Mary. She can be a joy to her parents no matter how much they will remember the preceding that caused ..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Annas, G. J. "Conjoined Twins- The Limits of Law at the Limits of Life." The New England Journal of Medicine. 1104-1106.
  • Barr, R. "Battle Over Conjoined Twins is Test of British Law, Ethics." Providence Journal-Bulletin. July 21, 2007.
  • Dyer, C. Siamese Twins to be separated against parents' will" British Medical Journal. June 13, 2007. 321. 7260.
  • Khalid, Kamal. "Conjoined Twins." 20 July 2007. <>
  • Smith, A. "The Separating of Siamese Twins."British Medical Journal. June 10, 2007. 321.7264.

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

The Ethical Dilemma of Siamese Twins (2007, September 02) Retrieved March 01, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The Ethical Dilemma of Siamese Twins" 02 September 2007. Web. 01 March. 2024. <>